BCW Joins Coalition Urging More Funding Needed for Road Projects
The BCW has joined with a collation of 34 other business, construction and municipal organizations in calling for more than $1 billion in additional funding for road improvement projects across New York, citing higher costs that have diluted the impact of recent spending pledges.
In a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul, the group noted that in 2021, the Governor introduced and enacted the New York State Department of Transportation’s first fully funded five-year capital program in nearly a dozen years. The $32.8B capital program included a record $6.1B in local highway and bridge assistance. NYDOT’S core program, which the coalition identified as all construction on the state system and federal aid construction on the local system, averages $2.644B per year and spends a total of $13.224B. The program also included Priority/Signature project construction of totaling $4.15B over the five-year period.
“While the current NYSDOT five-year capital program provides a strong base, the adopted capital program will need additional funding each year to stop the further deterioration of the state’s highways and bridges. The current program provides $4.15B for eight Priority/Signature projects around the state.”
The coalition further noted that as enacted, the five-year capital program provides almost no funding for these Priority/Signature projects in its last two years. It is projected an additional $1.4B – $2.2B in funding will have to be added to the current program to complete these projects or construction of these projects will literally be halted in 2024.
The coalition noted that the cost of materials, including steel and asphalt, as well as fuel, have all risen in the last year, making construction projects for the state Department of Transportation all the more expensive.
“It is critical that an additional $1.128B be added to the 2023-24 budget for state and local highway construction just to keep funding at the same level it was when the five-year program was initially adopted in 2022. Without at least this level of funding added to the NYSDOT’s core program this year, we will see significant reductions in the maintenance and reconstruction work done in every NYSDOT Region in the state,” states the coalition letter.
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